Nuder than Nuder than Nude - The Nudists (Swashbuckling Hobo)
Three things you need to know before we start: This is the sound of miscreants making mischief. Stylistically speaking, it's all over the shop like a mad woman's breakfast. And lyrically, "Nuder Than Nuder Than Nude" sounds like a public exhibition of schizophrenia.
The Nudists were reputedly around in Brisbane for a handful of shows in the mid-2000s and were lured into the studio by Swashbuckling Hobo Records over two days to lay down their first “proper” record. The immediate take after a few listens was that they sound like Lubricated Goat on bongs.
Scuzzy, fuzzy guitars, courtesy band leader and songwriter Jonny Romeo, are pitted against the laconic vocal of Conway Burrell. Occasional guests augment bassist Grillsy and Xavier on drums, with sax and synth popping up.
There's a certain fascination to be had in the trip that is this album. In the finest tradition of those other Queensland weird units, Pineapples From The Dawn Of Time, there are enough psychotic twists and turns to keep you wondering just what the fuck is going on and why did they touch the brown acid.
It's not so much Beefheart as Beef Stew.
If you've ever wanted to hear a song extolling the advantages of a sausage roll over vegetable pasties, side one's "Sausage Roll" is the right place. "Smells Like Roses" is a dirge about an open wound. If the lyrics don't turn your head, the tuneless backing vocals will.
Opening track "Work It Out" is the closest thing to punk rock normality here. "Shitty Limits" might be a garage punk song in praise of Cat Power. "Banned For Life" is the obligatory punk shouter with a deficit of lyrics ("Banned for life/Banned for life/Hey motherfucker/You're banned for life"). Then there's the post-punk plod of “What Is Wrong” which suddenly takes leave of its fried senses and careers off on a guitar freak-out. The short and sharply spiralling “FNC” packs a genuine sonic punch.
“To The Hospital” is the clearest manifestation of a "voices in my head" ethos put to music. The vocal in the left channel is about the sighting of a bilby (a mutation of a rabbit and a small kangaroo, for those Barflies from overseas) that's inducing a need to check into a medical facility.
The vocal in the right channel is someone intoning a variety of responses including why such a sighting is unlikely. It's set to repetitive backing track of bass and loose percussion. For the real weirdness, however, take a listen to "Burger". It's a conversation at a fast food driveway window. About a hamburger. With a looping 'n' loose bass and drum feel playing in the background.
Dunno what's in the water up Brisbane way these days but it's more likely that somebody slipped something in these guys' Fourex. (Another note to overseas Barflies: That's Queensland for beer.)